The Middle Ground

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28/12/2012 at 18:12

stevie, am I right in saying you're doing more 10M/HM stuff? Don't read your thread as much anymore (i hardly have time to keep up with this one!) but if you've not specifically targeted a 5k then it might not be too surprising that it's stayed the same. 

Hilly, that's a big block of training so not surprised it was tough going on Christmas day. All good miles in the bank though 

prf, exactly! Now I've hit the peak of my career the only way is down 

YD, sounds like a sensible decision to see how things go. Been to Skipton a few times myself, love it  

YP, any chance of some stat-geekery to see pace vs heart rate over the last few months? Your progression would be interesting to see.

Curly, beasting session. Not one to do when out of shape! Sub-20 next year?

BR - when St Andrews got setup one of the big race organsers in the area (he's been competing since the 60s and comes from "the good old days") was initially very skeptical of the idea and didn't like what he saw as parkrun 'taking away' from all the events Fife AC setup. However, he has since really warmed to the idea, and far from deriding the concept now actively encourages everyone to participate and race twice in the same day! 

Considering parkruns are every weekend without fail (weather permitting of course), I don't think they take away from established road races at all, as you can just parkrun the next weekend. I can't speak for many down south, but there's only Edinburgh up here that is officially recognised as 5k (the rest are all down as 5kNAD or 5kMT) so a midweek 5k race for instance would still get a big turnout. 

And of course there's many here now that like to double up and race Saturday and Sunday, which I doubt would have been the case pre-parkrun. 

Last few days have been busy (I'm staying at home over xmas/NY so I have a bit of a work commute) so Wednesday & Thursday's runs have been done at 5:30am. Really take a lot of motivation to get out that early but once I got going it wasn't too bad. Then did 3*(20/30/40) hillsprints today up a pretty steep hill, which took a while to get into the groove of but ended up not too bad. 

Edited: 28/12/2012 at 18:14
28/12/2012 at 18:33

BR, park runs just feel too unofficial for me. I've heard about casual time keeping, non certified courses, non UKA, low quality fields etc. I'm sure they're great for people who want either social or regular fairly strong workouts, but I tend to limit races, so seems not to fit my needs right now.

Also, I've still got that bog fest at Black park in my mind

Duck, tick over 3k-10k pace work, so the 5k should be breakable just off gains in fitness shown in other distances. It's my own fault for only racing 2 5ks in 18months, and them being lapped undulating fare. Am relaxed about 5k really.

10K is the frustrating one. Have a 10k split within a 10miler 11 secs quicker than the pb, so should be a given to pb, and very likely sub 35. Weather can't always be beaten though.

Hopefully by Feb/March, Chichester and Eastleigh will see pbs whether it's still or stormy! Those are fast courses...not quite Leeds, but fastest in the south for sure.

Edited: 28/12/2012 at 18:37
28/12/2012 at 18:58
Evening all. On my way to another seasonal related drinky. I tell you, it's all go.

Curly - I've got no plans to weigh myself again till at least March! Great session there, almost a mirror of some we've done pre-marathon, sandwiching the standard Tuesday track between 2 x 2M MP, etc.

The last few days have been a gastronomic delight, it's true, but I've been practising damage limitation by getting some good miles in, 46 over the last five days and just one rest day yesterday. 10 steady today @ 6:31, HR 71% max. A very nice tempo to run at; easy enough to feel comfortable but purposeful enough to have to concentrate on form and efficiency. More of those please!

Was planning a proper 5k/parkrun (heh!) tomorrow but pb-defying conditions have put me off so we're doing some hills and stuff in Greenwich Park instead.
28/12/2012 at 19:22

Happy belated Chrismas everyone. Some cracking running going on here, from Alehouse's first steps back (well done) to Curly's beast of a session.

I've not run since Monday, and I shouldn't have run then! Evil chesty cough that occasionally bends me over double has had a grip of me over the festive period. It seems slightly better today so if I have a good night of it tonight I may risk a run tomorrow.

 

28/12/2012 at 19:40
Stevie G . wrote (see)

BR, park runs just feel too unofficial for me. I've heard about casual time keeping, non certified courses, non UKA, low quality fields etc. I'm sure they're great for people who want either social or regular fairly strong workouts, but I tend to limit races, so seems not to fit my needs right now.

Also, I've still got that bog fest at Black park in my mind

Duck, tick over 3k-10k pace work, so the 5k should be breakable just off gains in fitness shown in other distances. It's my own fault for only racing 2 5ks in 18months, and them being lapped undulating fare. Am relaxed about 5k really.

10K is the frustrating one. Have a 10k split within a 10miler 11 secs quicker than the pb, so should be a given to pb, and very likely sub 35. Weather can't always be beaten though.

Hopefully by Feb/March, Chichester and Eastleigh will see pbs whether it's still or stormy! Those are fast courses...not quite Leeds, but fastest in the south for sure.


Aah, let's have a vigorous debate...

`Unofficial'... as opposed to what?

`Casual time-keeping'?  This year I can think of a far higher proportion of so-called `proper' events go wrong with timing / marshalling etc than parkruns, given the fact that there are thousands of the latter take place in the year.  Off the top of my head, Hull Marathon, York Millenium 5k, Northern Vets 10k Champs and the Dorothy Hyman track series have all experienced difficulties this year, and they're just ones I know of as I or friends have run them.

`Non UKA'? - erm, many of them have full UKA certificates and count for rankings.  Others do not, so you have a veritable smorgasbord (see YD - the vocabulary keeps expanding) of parkruns to choose from, be it pb chasing or enjoying the scenery.

`Weak fields'?  Ok - you ran a 17:3x for 6th place at your `official' 5k this week.  A quick perusal of recent parkrun results would have had you 7th at Bushy Park, 7th at Cardiff, 18th (eighteenth) at Poole (and double-chicked).  Yes there's low-key ones where a sub 20 pacer can come through the field to win, but there are also events which attract high quality runners consistently, the above three being the best examples I know of.

Over to you...

28/12/2012 at 19:55

There was quite a bit of opposition within my club to the parkrun concept, and there probably still is, but running is a broad church and therefore I feel should encompass a wide range of events, whether track and field, cross country, fell, mountain or trail running, a range of road running etc: parkrun is, in my view, just another welcome addition to what is on offer. It would be fantastic if they were all certified courses, and am sure that over time more and more will be. My only other complaint is that they are at 9.00 on a Saturday: 9.30 anyone?

Over to you others...

28/12/2012 at 20:09
9:30 where i'm from...

Great event - you pick the right one and you will always get a race. Timing is incredibly efficient too.

Better for people entering into running and we've got about 20 new members through it. It's a no brainer for clubsi think.
28/12/2012 at 20:18

Alehouse, certainly too early for me on a saturday. And I'm no punk kid late riser, 6am the other 6 days of the week. Need some kind of respite!

BR , clearly you're passionate for them, and I'm not.Maybe that'll change, but not for now.

If the race I did on Boxing Day had the field it had a couple of years ago, I'd have been lucky for top 15. An Olympian marathoner often turns out, along with a couple of borderline national level chaps.

However, using my time on a clearly tough 5k course against some presumably fast flat courses isn't the best logic.

And I'm not quite sure what was happening at Poole that day you quote, as 7 of the 8 races around it that I checked, even my 5k the other day would have got 1st to 4th! And that's with runners like Liz and Martin Yelling, Simon Coombes and Steve Way turning out here and there

Talking about slow winning times, a mid 19 won my local park run last week

Edited: 28/12/2012 at 20:23
28/12/2012 at 20:53

BR.. you missed out the recent Bradford 10k, just a smidgeon short at 8.8k! 

28/12/2012 at 22:57

I love parkrun but unless I target a certified one I tend to use it as a social thing with an easy run these days - I love that part of races too

Down south it has changed a little this year to something more recreational than it was. Low quality fields dont really affect me so cant comment on that. If you want a fast run though Bushy is always good for one!

Off to Upton Park tomorrow on the way to Bristol

Hilly two things from the session - it was a test to see if I could finish it (check) and to mimic ability to run on tired legs at the end of the marathon (check) and see if I could still up the pace (check I think). Demonstrates the MP derived from Gosport isnt too far away... maintaining that over 26.2 is very different though of course!

29/12/2012 at 00:09
You don't need a strong field to run a quick UKA certified 5k/parkrun time, just run quicker than everybody else and don't be shit. 16:15. Sorted!
WJH
29/12/2012 at 09:22
Park runs to me are a bit like Weatherspoons pubs. You get a bit of everyone going to them! I think they are a great concept personally and a great way to add sharpness to your training for the priority races you are targeting. I have run in 8 now, most of them in Netley Abbey just outside of Southampton. It's certified but no way a PB course as mentioned previously...but I find the hill it incorporates on each of the 3 laps a great way of building strength. It's not necessarily about getting a PB for me. I also agree with Alehouse on the 9am start but I guess it gets me up. I would have done the Cardiff park run today but have had too much going on with family commitments. But that does indeed always have a good quality field at the top end.....the only problem with that course is the narrow pathway catering for 400 plus runners which has generated some concern about slower runners at the start and times not beng reflective of performance without a chip. There has also been some debate about whether there should be a 2nd park run course in Cardiff to cater for the demand. I never knew some were certified and that others weren't. I guess it depends on what you want to get out of them really. For me though, unless I am doing Cardiff on my travels visiting family (which ironically won't happen now over the Xmas period) then they really are just useful for adding a bit of extra sharpness. That said, I think Southampton Common is fairly fast overall and I may give that one a go next weekend. As for participation in park runs by my club, they are not promoted for some reason....not sure why this is though, only a handful of my club members occasionally take part. Oh and Simon, if we are back in Bushy Park anytime then I will let you know that could be interesting
Edited: 29/12/2012 at 09:26
WJH
29/12/2012 at 09:52

One good thing about the 9.00 start is that I was home today for 9.35! Admittedly I only watched the first few finishers as it was so wet. Anyway, 3.5k walked and a kilometre run (divided into chunks of 100 metres!). Hope to be able to report no Achilles, calf or any other issues! And a "real" run some time soon.

 

29/12/2012 at 12:22

stevie, as a regular parkrundirector AND timekeeper I can assure you there is nothing casual about the timing! I've spent far too long stressing and worrying over the results for it to be called 'casual'. Yes there are some problems on occasion but no more than a non parkrunrace.

The quality of the field can only be judged by location and the course. Was it Portsmouth or Bournemouth that had a fair few under 15'30 a few months back? In the same race? I don't think it's fair to make that judgement as the same can and has happened at non parkrun races too. 

Felt below par this morning but still managed to grind out a solo 18'47 with a headwind in the second half. 3'36/3'41/3'42/3'53/3'47 - guess where it was windy. Breathing was fine but legs felt very heavy, and I was feeling it even before the end of the first mile. Still managed to pick up another third place (within spitting distance of a 1:23 HMer) which I suppose is down to the low quality field. 

Coachee saw a big breakthrough today - 25'16 (SB) after a period of mileage and longer tempo efforts, which is light years quicker than the struggling 27'xx times she was running 2 months ago.

Edited: 29/12/2012 at 12:23
29/12/2012 at 15:06

The only problem with parkruns is that should there be a problem it's difficult to complain in anyway since they are free events. However, in the 60-odd that I've run or volunteered for I can only think of two instances where there has been a problem with times - and I was the timekeeper for one of those

WJH, the missus gave me a smack for suggesting a smackdown. We had another bash this morning, but despite doing double the warm up she got a stitch at exactly the same point and had to stop completely this time. We're going to give parkruns a miss for a while and build mileage a bit first.

Nice parkrunning Duck. Great to see such improvement from your coachee. You must be giving out good advice or something.

I tested out my new headlamp yesterday with some off road running in the dark. It was great fun, but a little spooooky at times. Actually, the only thing I was worried about was some nutter might be walking his dogs in the pitch black and I'd be savaged by them.

 

29/12/2012 at 16:03

Alehouse - Theres definitely some momentum building now, all that patience is starting to bear fruit.

Curly - You're becoming quite a speed demon, what are you targetting prior to Brighton?

Have to agree that there is nothing casual about parkrun timing, how did that suggestion come about and what do they mean by 'casual'? I've even had sticklers for accuracy such as Hilly on timing duties in recent weeks .

I've always been impressed how consistent timing is across all the venues, ie almost always 1 second slower than my self timing due to the delay in starting my own watch. But the overall timing is as accurate as any non-electronic timing anywhere else.

In terms of complaints, there isnt really much justification for complaining when you get 50+ runs per year, £1200+ in prizes per year per event plus other goodies and all for free.

Edited: 29/12/2012 at 16:06
29/12/2012 at 16:17

I don't think I've ever heard anybody complain about a parkrun or suggest that it would be reasonable to. My point, which  wasn't explicit, is that somebody targetting an important event might prefer to enter an official race they've paid for and from which they can (or at least, should be able to) demand certain things - such as a guaranteed position, time etc.

29/12/2012 at 16:36

Alehouse - Slowly and surely. Look forward to hearing you report a 'proper' run in the near future

Duck - A decent solo time there and good improvements from your coachee. I expect its pretty satisfying seeing your advice bring good results.

Phil - Sounds like you have been wracking up some nice mileage there. Hope todays session survived last nights drinking!

8x 0.5 mile session for me today at 10k pace with 90 sec recoveries. Had to battle windy and very wet conditions and a pretty undulating stretch of road. I also had a pretty stinking hangover to contend with! So pretty happy with 2.56 average which is probably bang on current 10k pace. 60 miles clocked up for the week so far with a long run to come tomorrow. So should end up with comfortably over 75 for the week which will be my highest ever total I think.

29/12/2012 at 17:54

Simon - you may expect that but the only 5ks I've seen problems with this year are `official' ones. The City of York one left runners (including PRF) having no idea how far anyone had run due to utter confusion at a key marshalling point. 

 At the Dereham 5k there was nearly a pile up at the first corner as the traffic management vehicle was parked right where 300 runners were descending on it as a group. 

The 5k I watched at Littleborough had some challenging H+S issues, with the organiser shouting at our (policeman) friend through a megaphone at 4.9k to get off the road or he'd get the race banned.  I also believe that runners had to divert off course due to a level crossing barrier coming down mid-race.

At the Doncaster 5k drunks were joining in with the runners and getting in the way.

In fact the 5k which would get the Stevie G stamp of approval where I saw no problems was the Yeovil one.

In contrast, apart from the odd careless dog owner I've had no problems at 40-odd parkruns this year.

29/12/2012 at 17:56

Therefore if I felt I was in pb shape I'd be heading to Hull parkrun, knowing I could choose any week and probably round up a few runners of a similar standard if I felt I needed someone to drag me round.

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